Entecavir: A new treatment option for chronic hepatitis B

INSERM Unit 271, Liver Department, Hôtel Dieu Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, 151 Cours Albert Thomas, 69003 Lyon, France.
Journal of Clinical Virology (Impact Factor: 3.47). 06/2006; 36(1):8-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcv.2006.01.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Because of the slow kinetics of viral clearance and the spontaneous genetic variability of hepatitis B virus (HBV), antiviral therapy of chronic hepatitis B remains a clinical challenge. Despite the recent development of lamivudine, adefovir dipivoxil and pegylated interferon alpha for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, there is still a major need for new antiviral compounds. Entecavir, a guanosine analog, has been recently approved in US for the therapy of chronic hepatitis B and its registration is expected soon in Europe. Extensive studies have been performed to characterize its antiviral activity in enzymatic and tissue culture models, as well as in animal models of HBV infection. In clinical trails, entecavir administration was associated with a significantly more potent viral suppression compared to lamivudine, and a significant advantage in terms of biochemical and histological improvement compared to lamivudine. Entecavir was tolerated as well as lamivudine in these phase III trials. No case of resistance was detected after two years of therapy in nucleoside naive patients. Treatment of patients with lamivudine failure requires a higher dosage of entecavir and induces a significant decline in viraemia levels. However, 10% of these patients developed entecavir resistance after two years of therapy. The availability of entecavir as a new treatment option is providing clinicians more choice to keep both viral replication and liver disease under control. This provides new hope for improved treatment concepts for chronic HBV infection.

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    ABSTRACT: Background/Aims Adefovir (ADV) and lamivudine (LAM) combination therapy (ADV+LAM) has been a useful option for patients with LAM-resistant (LAM-r) chronic hepatitis B (CHB). However, the long-term outcomes of LAM+ADV and 1-mg entecavir (ETV) rescue therapies have still been limited. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term outcomes of these two rescue therapies. Methods Sixty patients with LAM-r CHB underwent rescue therapy with LAM+ADV (n=36) or 1-mg ETV (n=24). We determined the duration of rescue therapy, timing and type of mutation, undetectable serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA by PCR (lower limitation of detection, < 140 copies/mL), biochemical response (alanine aminotransferase < 40 IU/mL), and the incidence of hepatitis B virus e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion and virologic breakthrough. Results Baseline characteristics did not differ between the two therapy groups. The duration of rescue therapy was 56 months (range, 14-100 months) in the ADV+LAM group and 42 months (range, 12-73 months) in the ETV group (P=0.036). The cumulative rates of HBV DNA undetectability and HBeAg seroconversion up to 6 years were 88.6% and 43.0%, respectively, in the ADV+LAM group, and 45.8% and 31.8% in the ETV group. The rate of virologic breakthrough and resistance was 14.4% in the ADV+LAM group and 71.9% in the ETV group (P=0.001). Conclusions Combination of LAM and ADV therapy for up to 6 years achieved modest rates of virological suppression and resistance. ETV is not an optimal therapy because the risk of viral breakthrough to ETV increases over time.
    09/2014; 20(3):267-73. DOI:10.3350/cmh.2014.20.3.267
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular diagnostic methods have enabled the rapid diagnosis of drug-resistant mutations in hepatitis B virus (HBV) and have reduced both unnecessary therapeutic interventions and medical costs. In this study we evaluated the analytical and clinical performances of the HepB Typer-Entecavir kit (GeneMatrix, Korea) in detecting entecavir-resistance-associated mutations. The HepB Typer-Entecavir kit was evaluated for its limit of detection, interference, cross-reactivity, and precision using HBV reference standards made by diluting high-titer viral stocks in HBV-negative human serum. The performance of the HepB Typer-Entecavir kit for detecting mutations related to entecavir resistance was compared with direct sequencing for 396 clinical samples from 108 patients. Using the reference standards, the detection limit of the HepB Typer-Entecavir kit was found to be as low as 500 copies/mL. No cross-reactivity was observed, and elevated levels of various interfering substances did not adversely affect its analytical performance. The precision test conducted by repetitive analysis of 2,400 replicates with reference standards at various concentrations showed 99.9% agreement (2398/2400). The overall concordance rate between the HepB Typer-Entecavir kit and direct sequencing assays in 396 clinical samples was 99.5%. The HepB Typer-Entecavir kit showed high reliability and precision, and comparable sensitivity and specificity for detecting mutant virus populations in reference and clinical samples in comparison with direct sequencing. Therefore, this assay would be clinically useful in the diagnosis of entecavir-resistance-associated mutations in chronic hepatitis B.
    12/2013; 19(4):399-408. DOI:10.3350/cmh.2013.19.4.399
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    ABSTRACT: It has been shown that cellular immunity, especially by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), NK cells and NK-T cells, plays a central role in the control of virus infection. In addition, CD4+ T cells facilitate both CTL and B-cell responses. Hyporesponsiveness of HBV-specific T cells in peripheral blood has been shown in patients with chronic HBV infection. Interferon and nucleos(t)ide analogs, such as lamivudine, adefovir, entecavir and tenofovir, are the currently available treatments. Unfortunately, the efficacy of nucleos(t)ide analogs is limited by viral reactivation by the emergence of escaped mutants in cases of prolonged treatment. Therefore, immunotherapy is one of the significant options to eradicate or control HBV replication without drugs. The aim of immunotherapies is to decrease the levels of viral replication and to eradicate infected hepatocytes. For this reason, new strategies for immunotherapies by vaccination target not only the induction or stimulation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses, but also the induction of proinflammatory cytokines capable of controlling viral replication. We will review the immunopathogenesis of persistent HBV infection, especially focusing on the mechanisms of immune suppression. Then we will review the immunotherapy for HBV persistent infection.
    Clinical Journal of Gastroenterology 04/2009; 2(2):71-79. DOI:10.1007/s12328-009-0074-z